Sunday, October 23, 2011

TRUCKS: Yeley The First Driver Ever To Score Last-Place Finishes In All Three of NASCAR’s Top Divisions In The Same Season

J.J. Yeley picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Coca-Cola 250 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his unsponsored #66 Turn One Racing Chevrolet fell out with transmission problems after completing the first of the race’s 94 laps. The finish came in Yeley’s 13th series start.

With the finish, Yeley became the first driver in the history of NASCAR to score at least one last-place finish in each of its top three divisions in the same season. This season, prior to Saturday, he had one last-place finish in the Nationwide Series and five in Cup.

Yeley was driving for Turn One Racing, a team owned by series veteran Stacy Compton. In its first full year of competition, Turn One began the year with two trucks: Cole Whitt’s #60 and the #66, which began the year with sports car and ARCA competitor Justin Marks. Marks competed with the team for the opening twelve races, scoring a pole at Dover and a season-best finish of 9th at Charlotte.

Marks and primary sponsorship from GoPro left the #66 team after Nashville. Although the team has made all twelve races run since the split, and Ross Chastain put up a 10th-place finish at Indianapolis, the team has finished no better than 19th with five different drivers. Yeley became the fourth different driver at Chicago, where he finished 30th.

Last week at Talladega, Yeley timed in 33rd at a speed of 167.556 mph, relying on the #66 team’s owner points to beat the four “go-or-go-homers” that went home. Just as in his two previous starts for Turn One, the truck lacked sponsorship, and Yeley pulled it behind the wall after Lap 1. The next day, Yeley finished 42nd in the Cup race, parking Front Row’s #55 after three laps.

Teammate Cole Whitt finished 14th in the #60, extending a streak of five consecutive top-15 finishes in the Truck Series.

*The #66 had not finished last in a Truck Series race since 2005, when Todd Bodine’s BowTech Archery / Toyota was involved in a crash with Ken Weaver after completing three laps of the 2005 American Racing Wheels 200 at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. Thus, the number had also never finished last in a Truck Series race at Talladega since the series arrived there in 2006.

36) #66-J.J. Yeley / 1 lap / transmission
35) #99-Patrick Sheltra / 14 laps / crash
34) #1-Jeffery Earnhardt / 15 laps / crash
33) #07-Butch Miller / 19 laps / rear gear
32) #16-Donnie Neuenberger / 25 laps / crash

With three races to go in the 2011 season, Mike Garvey can lock up his second-consecutive LASTCAR Camping World Series championship if Norm Benning, Chris Lafferty, and Brent Raymer do not finish last in the final three races of the season, starting this Sunday at Martinsville. If Garvey ties one of these drivers with four finishes apiece, he will still claim the title by virtue of his 15 bottom-five finishes while Benning, Lafferty, and Raymer only have three apiece.
1st) Mike Garvey (4)
2nd) Norm Benning, Chris Lafferty, Brent Raymer (2)
3rd) Johnny Borneman III, James Buescher, Chris Jones, Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Travis Kvapil, Johanna Long, Scott Riggs, Greg Seevers, Dennis Setzer, Brad Sweet, J.J. Yeley (1)

Similarly, the #38 team can lock up the Owner’s Title if the trucks of the #10, #57, and #75 team fail to finish last in the final three races. The #38 team has 13 bottom-five finishes in 2011 compared to the #10's five, the #57's three, and the #75's six.
1st) #38-Shane Sieg (4)
2nd) #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #57-Norm Benning Racing, #75-Norm Benning Racing (2)
3rd) #5-Randy Moss, #20-Panhandle Motorsports, #27-Shane Sieg, #31-Turner Motorsports, #32-Turner Motorsports, #65-Joey Sonntag, #66-Turn One Racing, #74-Mike Harmon, #87-Rick Jones, #89-Chris Lafferty, #93-Shane Sieg, #07-SS Green Light Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (17)
2nd) Toyota (3)
3rd) Ford (2)


ajcrdstr24 said...

I was a little bored on this snowy October Saturday out east, and was curious to see who else has a last place finish in all three top divisions. Not sure if you have ever compiled this, but here is the list I came up with in no particular order:

Mike Garvey
Butch Miller
Morgan Shepherd
Chad Chaffin
Carl Long
Ken Schrader
Jack Sprague
Larry Gunselman
Carl Edwards
Kevin Lepage
Steve Park
Tony Raines
David Reutimann
Mike Wallace
Aric Almirola
Greg Biffle
Mike Bliss
Todd Bodine
Chuck Bown
Derrike Cope
Kerry Earnhardt
David Green
Ernie Irvan
Mark Martin
Scott Riggs
Jay Sauter
Johnny Sauter
Michael Waltrip
J.J. Yeley

Brock Beard said...

Thanks for the heads-up, ajc; I actually hadn't compiled that list yet. :)